According to the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection, Coca-Cola damaged the moral development of children by putting up posters of two men hugging, and two women drinking from the same bottle of coke. Apparently, time goes backwards in Hungary.
Daily News Hungary also reported on the outrage that was caused by Coca-Cola posters in August. The posters were portraying hetero- and also same-sex couples enjoying a bottle of Coca-Cola. The posters are part of the company’s worldwide #loveislove campaign.
The conservative half of the nation was outraged by the multinational company’s pro-LGBTQ message, and nationalists even called for a boycott of Coca-Cola for advertising gay acceptance. The news was soon picked up by the international media who, in response, criticised the Hungarian nationalist party for its homophobic response and ridiculous boycott. I might add here that the posters in question were taken down after only a few days.
The story now continuous. Index reports that according to the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection,
Coca-Cola violated the legal rules of advertising. All advertisement is forbidden, which can potentially harm children’s physical, mental, emotional or moral development. Apparently, same-sex couples enjoying a bottle of Coca-Cola does just that, and Coca-Cola was fined.
The whole proceeding started with a citizen’s letter of complaint to which the authorities not only responded, but also thanked the citizen for raising attention to the issue. This particular citizen happens to be a reader of Index, which is how the news reached the public. Apart from the fine, Coca-Cola was also formally asked not to use advertisements that could harm children’s development.
Theoretically, the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection (HACP) is supposed to ensure the protection of consumers’ lives, safety and health through the active market surveillance of the distribution of non-food products, and to ensure the security of the economic interests of consumers. Their job is to verify that legal requirements pertaining to the provision of adequate information to consumers have been complied with, they also filter out unfair terms and conditions from contracts and aim to prevent traders from misleading consumers or applying aggressive marketing methods.